Bridgetown, Barbados, 9 June 2016. A new president has been elected at the Annual General meeting of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) to serve during the next period from 2017-2019. Hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), on 7-8 June 2016 in Curacao outgoing President Mr. McHale Andrew (who is also the CEO of Invest Saint Lucia) in his opening remarks noted the continued importance and relevance of Caribbean investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to the region’s economic development and encouraged members to persevere despite the continued challenges of declining budgets and governmental changes that often adversely affect the continuity of investment promotion programmes.
The elected representatives to the CAIPA Board of Directors include: CAIPA President, Ms. Diane Edwards of JAMPRO, Ms. Racquel Moses of invesTT, who will serve as the 1st Vice President, Ms. Bernadette Ambrose-Black, 2nd Vice President, while the 4 Directors are: Mr. Ramon Koffijberg of CINEX, Ms. Rhoda Joseph of Invest Dominica Authority, Mr. Owen Verwey of GO-INVEST and Mr.
Ronald Theodore of the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation.
Speaking at the event, the Chairperson of the Board at Caribbean Export, Ms. Donnalee Bowe encouraged the CAIPA Members to celebrate the work that has been successfully implemented under the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme that comes to an end in July 2016. She also encouraged the members to learn from the mistakes to improve on future expected programmes.
Opening remarks were also delivered by the Ismail Ersahin, Deputy Executive Director of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), Ramon Koffijberg, Executive Director of CINEX (Curacao’s investment and trade promotion agency). As a prospective member of CAIPA, brief remarks were also delivered by the Honourable Marlon Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion of the Government of the British Virgin Islands.
Under the theme “Expanding our Reach, Strengthening our Impact” Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) officials, sought to focus attention on the work undertaken during the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector development Programme (10th EDF RPSDP), to evaluate its successes and achievements and highlight the main lessons learnt during the execution of the programme. The members also focused attention on the development of impact assessment models for the tourism and business process outsourcing sectors in an effort to provide valuable information on the potential impact on jobs, taxes and GDP of investments into the aforementioned sectors.
The CAIPA Annual Meeting 2016 also saw the members making a special commitment to collaborating with WAIPA in a meaningful way with an agreed work programme that will draw on WAIPA’s experience and knowledge of good practices in investment promotion. The members also
committed to expanding the reach of CAIPA and encouraging the participation of non-CAIPA Caribbean Overseas Countries (OCTs) and territories of the European Union in an effort to strengthen the CAIPA brand and the Caribbean’s value proposition. In this regard the meeting committed to continued collaboration with the COSME Programme (which is an EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the OCTs).
The CAIPA Annual Meeting was made possible with the support of the EU under the 10th EDF RPSDP and the Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-national programmes that are managed by Caribbean Export. Participating CAIPA member states were Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos.